Inside This Issue - News
Industry giant Sam Skaggs dies at 89
April 15th, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY – L.S. (Sam) Skaggs, who helped pioneer the food/drug combo format in the late 1960s, died last month at his home here. He was 89.
Skaggs was born into a retailing family. His father, Leonard S. Skaggs, one of six sons of Safeway Inc. founder Marion Skaggs, had purchased PayLess Drug Stores in Salt Lake City in 1939.
Sam Skaggs took over the 11-store chain at age 26, after his father’s death from a stroke in 1950. In 1965, when the drug chain had grown to 69 stores, it incorporated as Skaggs Drug Centers and went public. In 1979 the company acquired American Stores in Philadelphia.
When Skaggs retired in 1995, American Stores has more than 1,700 stores operating under a variety of different banners across the country. It was the nation’s second-largest grocery chain behind Kroger Co. and one of the industry’s largest drug chains.
Skaggs’ retailing empire earned him a fortune, and he was a generous philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to charities and research organizations.